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3.1 Extension services in the region
3.2 Training of extension agents
3.3 Seed production facilities in the region
3.4 Manufacture of feed and fertilizers
3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry
3.6 Other services for the industry
3.7 Local credit programmes
3.8 Trade publications for producers
3.9 Technical assistance in the sub-sector

3.1 Extension services in the region

Fisheries extension is an important activity of most governments in the region and its importance is recognized in the development of the industry. While this is the case, however, there is a general inadequacy of extension workers not only in terms of numbers of field personnel and equipment for the job, but also in terms of their qualifications and preparation for the work. In some countries there is a serious lack of technically trained personnel and no extension service is available at all (e.g., Viet Nam); instead provincial fisheries officers serve as the link between the Directorate of Fisheries and the fishermen. In others, as in the Philippines and China, the existing extension services need to be strengthened and the number of staff increased by the recruitment of more personnel and by the training of existing workers.

In those countries with formal extension services, aquaculture extension is mostly carried out by fisheries extension workers of the respective fisheries departments or bureaux which often have distinct divisions or units with extension as their main task or responsibility. Some countries like Japan and the Philippines have government or private agencies rendering extension services to the private sector in support of their primary functions, or as needed in specific projects.

In Japan, for example, extension work is usually available at the prefectural level through extension agents within the fisheries district offices. In addition, fisheries cooperatives, research laboratories, and academic institutions also transfer improved technology to the fish farmers. In the Philippines fisheries extension is one of the main tasks of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), for which purpose it has developed and implemented a fishery extension programme in aquaculture aimed at increasing yields of existing fish ponds, pens and cages, and at the same time developing new production farms especially for marine culture of high-value species.

In the Philippines the aquaculture extension programme is executed by BFAR through its 12 regional offices, and provincial and municipal fishery offices. Some 300 aquaculture extension officers, representing about 50% of the total number of BFAR extension staff, are involved in this programme, with each assigned to cover an area of about 120 ha. In support of its extension services BFAR has 31 freshwater farms, 32 brackishwater farms, and 11 seafarms for seed production, field testing, and demonstration of aquaculture technologies. It also has a Freshwater Fish Hatchery and Extension Training Center in Nueva Ecija, Central Luzon which was established with USAID assistance. Four brackishwater aquaculture demonstration and training centres have likewise been established at Paombong, Bulacan; Pagbilao, Quezon; Calape, Bohol; and Lala, Lanao del Norte, with UNDP assistance. Other government agencies render extension work in the Philippines; for example, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has about 60 field staff to assist the fishermen sub-borrowers of the LLDA Laguna de Bay Fishpen Development Project in the construction, development, and operation of their fish pens and fish cages built with ADB funding. LLDA has constructed a large freshwater hatchery/nursery complex as a support facility (see Section 3.3).

In addition, some private enterprises in aquaculture provide assistance to private farmers in the design, construction, and operation of their farms. San Miguel Corporation (SMC), for example, has technicians who conduct site evaluation, assist in pond design and layout, and give technical assistance during the operation of shrimp farms participating in their contract growing programme. This free assistance is intended to benefit SMC by ensuring good yields for buying back and eventual export. At the same time, the participating farmers are benefited by the free transfer of technology provided by SMC.

This approach has been adopted by China in its extension work. The creation of private corporations to provide technical services to fish farming communities is being encouraged. Many private fish farming corporations have been formed to undertake production contracts, thus allowing the transfer of fish farming technology to areas where aquaculture has not yet been developed. The incentives provided in such a system have been cited as the driving force in the rapid growth of fish farming in China. A formal extension service is, however, the principal vehicle for technology transfer in the country. The National Bureau of Aquatic Products under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fisheries (now renamed the Ministry of Agriculture) administers the extension service through its provincial, city, county, and district levels. In 1987 a total of 961 fisheries extension stations were established in 18 provinces, three autonomous territories, and three cities in an efficient network with a total extension staff of 9 400, about 60% of which are technical/scientific personnel and about 1 204 are women.

Unlike the Philippines, where extension workers are among the most poorly paid government workers, the Government of China provides economic incentives and raises the political status of extension officers by upgrading their technical capabilities and equipping them better for the job.

In most of the countries in the region the extension agents extend technical assistance to fish farmers in various aspects of aquaculture production, from hatchery to rearing, harvesting, and even marketing of the produce. They monitor the progress of fish culture activities in their areas of operation, assist in planning and development work, and even help ensure funds for project operations. They also monitor the use of loans made available to the farmers, and help to ensure that financial obligations are repaid. Most extension services in the region are inadequately equipped. Pew, if any, have modern extension equipment (like audio-visual aids and field kits) and there is little transportation, particularly in the remote areas. Extension workers are often poorly motivated and render below-average performances in the field as a result.

3.2 Training of extension agents

Because of the long tradition of aquaculture in the region and its present advanced level, the majority of extension workers are trained in vocational schools rather than graduate schools. The education level for the extension worker is invariably the same as that which allows him or her to be employed by the government. Most government extension workers are then given special training on extension methods on joining the service. In addition they are sometimes sent to special training courses offered by other government agencies and research institutes on specialized areas of aquaculture production; in the Philippines, for example, BFAR has its own in-house training courses for field staff; in Wuxi, China, the Fisheries Research Centre has trained over 800 nationals in short-term courses in integrated farming.

A number of regional organizations provide opportunities in specialized aquaculture practices. The SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC-AQD) at Tigbauan in the Philippines trains national and international extension agents in various production methods and techniques, such as shrimp hatchery and culture operations and freshwater fish farming, among others. SEAFDEC-AQD also offers trainers' training courses for extension workers, and there are some private non-stock, non-profit corporations, some with foreign funding, which provide extension training services. Since 1974 SEAFDEC-AQD has trained some 6 776 participants in various national (5 471), international (1 074) non-degree programmes, and international (231) degree programmes. The ASEAN/FAO/UNDP Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project organizes training activities for fisheries extension workers. In 1988, for example, the project sponsored training courses on fisheries extension methodology in Indonesia and Malaysia,

The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) provides short-term international training for aquaculture extension workers. On return to their respective countries, these trainees are expected to transfer the technologies through in-country programmes to other extension workers who, in turn, conduct on-site sessions for the fish farmers.

Transfer of aquaculture technology and training of field workers in their own countries, is also effected under the NACA programme of inter-country exchange of expertise. National experts assist other lead centres as well as other countries by visiting and training technicians and field workers on site. Since 1981 NACA has organized some 15 international training courses for specialized aquaculture practices with over 350 participants. Although the majority of participants have been from countries in Asia (19) and the Pacific (7), many have come from countries in Africa (12) and Latin America (7), and from Europe (1).

A database for fisheries and aquaculture training opportunities has been established by ICLARM/FAO at the ICLARM offices in the Philippines. Currently the data base lists 316 long and short-term courses in fisheries and aquaculture worldwide. More than half (54%) of the 110 institutions listed under Asia offer formal institutionalized programmes in aquaculture, of these 76% grant degrees. Short courses, mostly on aquaculture, are offered by 49 institutions; these are in Brunei (1), China (6), Hong Kong (1), Japan (1), Republic of Korea (2), Philippines (8), and Taiwan PC (2).

3.3 Seed production facilities in the region

The success of artificial fish propagation techniques for a number of valuable species on a commercial scale is often cited as the most significant contribution to the rapid development of aquaculture in East Asia. Consequently, there is now a very substantial number of fish seed production facilities in the region, both for marine and freshwater species. These are owned and operated by both government and private entities.

As of 1986 China had a total of 1 204 State-operated marine and freshwater fish hatcheries and nurseries with a total staff of 30 139, and over 3 000 collective and privately operated hatcheries and nurseries. Altogether these seed production units produced 138.5 billion freshwater fish fry; 30.8 billion freshwater fish fingerlings; and 32.3 billion shrimp post-larvae (size PL7-10).

In Taiwan PC there are about 1 600 to 1 800 small-scale shrimp hatcheries which specialize in just one phase of hatchery production, and many large-scale industrial hatcheries which maintain captive broodstock and concentrate on all phases of hatchery production, from maturation through juvenile production. These hatcheries produce 4.5 billion post-larvae per year.

In Japan the national government and 20 coastal prefectural governments have all established fish farming centres to produce seeds and fry of fish and shellfish (e.g., sea bream, prawn, flounder, abalone) for distribution to fish cooperatives and other organizations. Similar fish farming centres are under construction in more than 12 prefectures. In addition the Japan Fish Farming Association operates 13 national fish farming centres throughout the country. More than 2.5 billion seedstock are produced annually in Japan for use in culture-based fisheries, i.e., for restocking the open waters with Kuruma prawn, red sea bream, salmon, and scallops. Of this total, approximately 500 million are composed of shrimp fry.

In Viet Nam the Government has established an experimental shrimp hatchery in Haiphong, a penaeid shrimp hatchery in the central part of the country, and a freshwater prawn hatchery in the Mekong Delta area, all with external assistance.

In Laos four fish hatcheries were rehabilitated in 1966 with external funding assistance from USAID in Vientiane, Nong Tang, Luang Prabang, and Lakse. These sold more than 1 million fingerlings to private farmers in 1969. Since then FAO/UNDP has had projects rehabilitating a number of seed farms in the country, but recent data have been difficult to obtain.

The Philippines has almost 300 shrimp hatcheries of varying capacities. These are concentrated in major shrimp-producing centres in Panay Island, Zambales, Quezon, Batangas, and Mindanao. While most of these hatcheries are privately owned there are some Government-owned and operated shrimp hatcheries of which the most successful is that constructed by the Southern Philippines Development Authority in Naawan, Misamis Oriental in the island of Mindanao.

There are more than 200 freshwater fish hatcheries, mostly small-scale facilities for tilapia and recently for carp, located predominantly in Luzon along the shores of Laguna de Bay or in Laguna de Bay itself where freshwater fish pen and cage culture practices are centred. The number of hatcheries is increasing in other parts of the country with the new interests in cage farming in other lakes, and in freshwater pond farming in inland areas.

In addition the Government operates freshwater fish seed production facilities in the country. The Freshwater Aquaculture Center of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) was among the earliest facilities which produced and sold tilapia fingerlings to the private sector, and at the same time rendered extension service to fish farmers in the area. BFAR has also established its Freshwater Fish Hatchery and Extension Center close to the CLSU facility with funding from USAID.

3.4 Manufacture of feed and fertilizers

Japan and Taiwan PC are the largest manufacturers of fish feed and fertilizers in the region. Japan processes about 30% of its total fish supply for industrial uses, mainly as fish meal for the production of fish and animal feeds. Taiwan PC has more than 40 companies producing fish and shrimp feeds, a substantial number of which export to other markets in the region. President Feeds is the leading brand.

Some of these feed companies have linked to national corporations for the production of shrimp feeds in the Philippines under new name-brands, but with royalties paid to the foreign firm; for example, B-Meg Feeds marketed by San Miguel Corporation are produced using a Taiwanese formula, and Fuji-Triumph Feeds uses a Japanese formulation. B-Meg feeds are the most expensive among four major locally produced feeds. The feed quality is consistently good and conversion efficient; average feed conversion ratios (FCRs) are 1.2-1.6:1 (or 1.2-1.6 kg of feed per kg of shrimp). Some commercial feeds produced in the region have inconsistent quality and give FCRs of 2 and above. B-Meg feeds used to be available only to shrimp farmers who participated in the contract growing scheme of San Miguel Corporation (SMC),

i.e., SMC supplies the farmer with the feeds and shrimp fry (produced in their hatchery in Negros Occidental) and bought back the shrimp products. SMC also provided the contract-growers with technical assistance starting from design to operation. Upon request SMC also provides feeds of credit to shrimp farmers with proven credit worthiness.

3.5 Manufacturers of equipment for the industry

China, Japan, and Taiwan PC are the leading manufacturers and suppliers of fish farming equipment in the region, exporting various types of machinery to the aquaculture producers in Asia.

The China National Fisheries Corporation (CNFC), the largest State-owned combination enterprise engaged in aquatic production, operates 3 medium-sized enterprises specializing in the production of fishery machinery such as diesel engines, culture machines, generators, power blocks, feed pelletizers, feed inflators, and cooling and refrigerating machines. Apart from the enterprises supervised by CNFC, there are also many factories specializing in the production of fishery machinery. There is even a Fishery Machinery and Instrument Research Institute in Shanghai which is supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Taiwan PC is perhaps the largest manufacturer of aquaculture equipment, supplies, and materials. It exports a great deal, mostly to the Philippines, mainly on account of the lower prices of their products compared with similar products from Japan. The most popular products include paddlewheel aerators, pumps, generators, feed milling equipment, and various field equipment and supplies such as pH and DO meters, test kits and weighing scales.

With the rapid growth of the shrimp culture industry in the Philippines more national companies are manufacturing aquaculture equipment using local materials. With the abundance of cheap local labour equipment made in the Philippines is competitive with imported equipment. Locally fabricated paddlewheels and pumps are now preferred to imported ones. Service and supply of spare parts are also assured by the local manufacturers.

American and European equipment is also available in the region but prices are not competitive. An American-made refractometer, for example, costs five times as much as a Japanese brand.

Aquaculture trade fairs are common in the region. For example, China plans a fair for fish farming equipment in Shanghai in 1988, and Hong Kong an exhibition of processing equipment.

International scientific and technical conferences are almost always accompanied by such exhibitions. In the Philippines there is an annual agro-industrial trade fair where aquaculture equipment manufacturers and suppliers occupy a prominent place. In addition the yearly conventions of the various aquaculture producers and other private fishermen's federations invariably feature exhibits of such products.

3.6 Other services for the industry

Aquaculture consulting services are established and active in the region. Asia, with its many foreign-funded aquaculture development projects, has been a prime market for the services of a number of international consulting companies. ADB and World Bank-financed projects in the region usually provide for experts to assist governments in the execution of the projects. Consultants are also engaged by the development banks to assist in aquaculture sector studies and formulation of projects for possible bank financing.

Many international companies have established offices in the region; these include several firms from the USA, two from France, one each from Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and United Kingdom. A growing number of Asian consultancy companies, notably in the Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan PC have penetrated the market, and an increasing number of foreign-funded projects now hire Asian experts who have better familiarity with the region, particularly its people, culture, and general environment.

A number of private enterprises in the region hire the services of local and foreign consultants in project planning, development, and operation. Taiwan PC and the Philippines provide most experts and skilled technicians for projects in other parts of Asia. In Indonesia, for example, the three internationally-funded brackishwater aquaculture projects all feature Filipino experts in prominent roles. Japan also provides many services at a substantially higher cost. This is a deterrent to the smaller private companies whose resources are limited.

Other services available to the industry in the region include laboratories which perform water and soil quality analysis, feed proximate analysis, and disease diagnosis. Most of these facilities are government-owned or are linked with research and academic institutions. Recently, however, private fish farmers have also covered this area due to the lack of government-provided facilities. In Central Visayas in the Philippines, for instance, where most of the intensive shrimp farms are located, a disease laboratory has been established by the local cooperative in response to the possibility of shrimp diseases.

Local architect and design engineer firms serve the industry. Their involvements range from the conduct of simple topographic and hydrographic surveys, facility and engineering design, and construction supervision. Engineering contractors who undertake construction work are usually available in the locality of the project. Local labour for construction and operation of projects is abundant in the region at a low cost.

3.7 Local credit programmes

In most countries in the region credit facilities are made available by the respective governments to the private sector for use in aquaculture development. Credit is distributed through local commercial or agricultural banks, or through fishermen's associations or cooperatives which lend money to their members.

The Hong Kong Department of Fisheries provides low interest loans and supervised credit facilities to producers for capital and recurrent costs for construction and maintenance of their ponds. In a ten year period the Hong Kong Government provided HK$ 2 million for such purposes. In 1983, 80 loans worth HK$ 651 000 were issued and 88 loans worth HK$ 490 000 were recovered. There is also an Emergency Relief Fund made available by the Government to producers whose fish ponds are damaged by natural calamities and who need rehabilation assistance.

The Japan Fisheries Agency provides low interest loans to fisheries cooperatives engaged in shrimp culture at an interest rate of 6.5% per annum payable over 20 years. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Finance Corporation offers similar loans to private farmers.

In China all townships and village operated farms are expected to rely largely on their own financial resources for all development activities, whenever possible. State assistance can be sought and obtained if the magnitude of investment is in excess of the production unit's means, or when required to compensate after natural disasters. The People's Bank of China is also a credit source as it is closely linked to local credit cooperatives. It accepts deposits, grants loans, and helps production units set up new enterprises. Loans given by the Bank are payable in one year if used for working capital purposes, and up to five years for equipment purchase. Interest rates vary with the type of loan. Other sources of credit include the Bank of Agriculture, the Bank of Construction, and the Bank of Industry and Commerce.

In the Philippines credit for aquaculture development used to be in abundance, with credit funds coming from either external funding or from government funds. Before 1987 12 fisheries credit programmes were implemented by some 9 government agencies, of which 4 were foreign-funded (WB; ADB; ADB-OPEC; and the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Fund) and 3 were locally funded. As there was no single government coordinating authority over these programmes there were problems including poor repayment scheduling. The economic crises in the country subsequently led to the closure of agricultural credit at a number of major banks, including the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). DBP was an important credit source for private fish pond owners as it was the only bank which accepted fish pond lease agreements as loan collateral; as most fish ponds in the Philippines (as elsewhere) are public lands which can not be titled to the private sector, it was the most accessible bank for development loans.

Financing for fish pond development remains a problem in the region, in view of the high cost of pond development and the lack of credit sources. In the Philippines the Department of Agriculture has created the Comprehensive Agricultural Loan Fund which pools resources from some 39 separate loan funds for various commodity programmes, including fisheries, previously implemented by the Department. It encourages lending by private banks to agricultural projects by assuming, through guarantees, a maximum of 86% of the risks which lead to default. Accredited private commercial banks must first allocate their own funds for lending to small farmers and fishermen before they can apply for Fund guarantee coverage.

3.8 Trade publications for producers

Several types of publications - technical journals, newsletters, trade magazines and papers, and manuals - are available to producers in the region. These include publications produced within the region itself and those published by American and European publishers.

Among the regional publications useful to producers are newsletters regularly published by SEAFDEC (particularly those by SEAFDEC-AQD in the Philippines); by the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM); and by NACA from Thailand. Technical information is periodically available in INFOFISH International published six times yearly which has articles on aquaculture practices both within and outside the region (see 1.6).

International trade papers and magazines obtainable by subscription are AUSTASIA Aquaculture Magazine (Australia), Aquaculture Magazine (USA), Aquaculture Digest (USA), Fish Farming International (UK), and Fish Farmer (UK). The Quarterly Newsletter of the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) in Belgium contains relevant information for producers at times and is obtainable through membership of the Society (see 4.6).

There are three Trade Directories of aquaculture products which are published at regular intervals. One is available through subscription to Aquaculture Magazine (USA), another through the EAS (Belgium), and the third available from AUSTASIA Aquaculture Magazine.

There are many technical manuals published by FAO and, on occasion, by the ADB. These are available to producers on subscription or request basis.

Within the countries there is an abundance of published information which is useful to aquaculture producers. In the Philippines, for example, a special publication entitled "Aquaculture Buyers' Guide" is available in the local market. It is actually a directory of suppliers of goods and services to the aquaculture industry. There are also magazines and newspapers which feature articles on agriculture in general, including fisheries (e.g., "Agribusiness Weekly"), or focus on aquaculture (e.g. "Aquaculture Watch").

Many national technical and semi-technical manuals directed to the layman or the practising aquaculturist are circulated within the region; for example, manuals published by the Philippine Council for Agricultural Resources Research and Development, such as the "Philippines Recommends" series, include works on farming tilapia, milkfish, and also mussels. The Council has also published a series called "Technoguides" which are extension manuals dealing with specific commodities, and are written in local dialects.

3.9 Technical assistance in the sub-sector

External funding for development of local infrastructure within the different countries of the region has been provided primarily by UNDP for projects executed by FAO. In certain cases, ADB and World Bank projects provide for training grants and/or fellowships for local extension workers in aspects of aquaculture pertinent or related to particular aquaculture development project loans.

At the present time there are 81 active assistance projects in Asia. In this particular regional division these are in China (6), RO Korea (1), Laos (1), Philippines (13), and Viet Nam (3), but not all at the level of local infrastructure. There are also 4 regional projects.

The Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia (NACA) is a UNDP/FAO regional project which provides assistance in training of fisheries technicians and field workers from 12 member countries in the region. The four lead centres established under this project (in China, India, Philippines, and Thailand) conduct regular degree programmes and short-term training courses for fisheries personnel and extension agents. Bilateral agencies and organizations such as IDRC (Canada) finance many participants of the courses. As an adjunct to this project UNDP is financing a number of marine farming demonstration centres.

The ASEAN/FAO/UNDP Small-Scale Coastal Fisheries Development Project, jointly funded by ASEAN and UNDP and executed by FAO, is also a regional project which includes among its components the provision of training courses for fisheries extension personnel from the different member countries.

Through SEAFDEC-AQD various multilateral and bilateral agencies provide assistance for training fisheries and aquaculture extension workers from various countries in the region. SEAFDEC itself sponsors study tours for extension agents to different countries to observe various aquaculture methods and extension techniques.

In China FAO through its Technical Cooperation Programme has recently supported a workshop on the production of commercial seaweeds, and the development of a pilot demonstration plant for compounding fish meal. UNDP is financing the development of coastal aquaculture.

In Laos the UNDP through FAO is supporting the rehabilitation of a fish seed production farm and fish culture development.

In the Philippines CIDA is supporting the production technology for mass propagating milkfish fry. The Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan is supporting a pilot production project for freshwater prawns and providing credit arrangements for farmers. The ADB is providing credit for the farming of milkfish and marine shrimp.

In Viet Nam FAO through its Technical Cooperation Programme is funding the operation of a hatchery for Artemia production as a complement to another project funded by UNDP and executed by FAO on prawn seed production and brackishwater aquaculture development in Nghia Binh.

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